FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Todd Bowles' unemotional approach is present even when he isn't.
On Monday, the Jets' expansive locker room resembled a ghost town. But the four players who did speak -- Ryan Fitzpatrick, Eric Decker, Willie Colon and Breno Giacomini -- echoed their coach's "it's just another game'' refrain. And each one refused to feed into the "Patriots week'' hype.
"I think that's the way you guys look at it, personally,'' Giacomini said. "Every week's a test for us on Sunday. Right now we're 4-1, so we're doing pretty good.''
Bowles stressed the importance of winning division games but noted: "Winning this game is not going to make us. Losing this game is not going to break us.''
Reminded that Jets players often made "a huge deal'' in the past about playing the Patriots, Colon smiled and said: "You know the answer to that. I'm not going to fall into that. You don't have to [ask]. You know why. New regime. New regime. Next question.''
Former Jets coach Rex Ryan rode the wave of emotion throughout his six-year tenure, offering no apologies for his brash personality. Nor did he back down from his bold predictions, even though his words put a bull's-eye on his players. That fiery emotion came at a price, especially when Ryan's teams couldn't deliver on his grandiose statements.
"Good teams don't ride the emotional roller coaster,'' Colon said. "They stay steady, they stay straight ahead and they stay in their lane. They don't look left and right to see what the other teams are going through. We're trying to be that team.
"We don't have to look at what Buffalo is going through, what New England is doing. We've just got to worry about what the New York Jets have to do and be competitive and fight and play hard and play at a high level. And if we're able to do that, we're going to be fine. We're not trying to catch up on anybody, we're not trying to make any statements, we just want to win. And everything will take care of itself.''
For the first time since 2010 -- when they started 5-1 -- the Jets are on an early-season hot streak. According to defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, there's no better time to face the defending Super Bowl champions, who are 5-0.
"I'm kind of happy we get next,'' said Richardson, who returned from a four-game suspension Sunday and helped the Jets defeat the Redskins, 34-20. "[We're] licking our chops.''
Decker wasn't as colorful as Richardson on Monday, but he acknowledged this division game is critical. Said the receiver: "You've got to win those games to get into the playoffs.''
Notes & quotes: RB Stevan Ridley is eligible to play against his former team and could "maybe'' suit up Sunday, Bowles said. Ridley has been on the physically unable to perform list since the start of the season. "I'm hoping to get him in pads [Wednesday] and get him out there and let him run around,'' Bowles said.